Value addition to cocoa a “top priority” of the government, Akufo-Addo assures CPC

President Akufo-Addo says his team will do everything to support the efforts of the Cocoa Processing Company to add value to cocoa production

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says his government will do everything within its power to support the efforts of the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) to add value to cocoa production in Ghana.

In his remarks to the management and staff of the Cocoa Processing Company Ltd (CPC) during his working visit to the company today, 26 August 2020, President Akufo-Addo said the CPC, even with an indebtedness of over $100 million to settle, will be assisted, after the COVID-19 crisis, to become a viable value addition company.

“The assistance and intervention that you require of government in terms of your relationship with COCOBOD, and your indebtedness to Afrexim, is something we are going to have to work on together, but you will have my instinctive support,” the president said.

President Akufo-Addo speaking during his visit to the Cocoa Processing Company

“Unfortunately, like much of what has happened in post-independence Ghana, the company was not well managed, and therefore by the time you, the present leadership, came in to take over the reins of affairs, you had some really formidable challenges. The most formidable of it is indebtedness of a hundred million dollars-plus,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“I came here to have a look and to listen to you, to see the challenges and what therefore can be done.”

The president acknowledged that the CPC is at the forefront of the country’s future and ought to be a top priority.

“What essentially is industrialisation? It is value addition to your natural resources. That is essentially what it is.

“You are really at the centre of it. Cocoa has been the mainstay of our country for over a hundred years. It is very legitimate to say cocoa is Ghana, and Ghana is cocoa. So, to have this company whose aim it is to add value to our cocoa industry makes you a very strategic company in our economic landscape,” President Akufo-Addo observed.

Managing director of CPC

According to Nana Agyenim Boateng, managing director of the Cocoa Processing Company Ltd, the company is on a strong path to recovery and would require government assistance in fostering a more serious relationship with COCOBOD, especially to ensure constant supply of beans to CPC on a 60-day revolving credit basis.

He further said that the president’s vision in initiating the provision of cocoa drinks to senior high school students as part of the School Feeding Programme is commendable. It will go a long way to support the growth agenda of the CPC.

History and background

The Cocoa Products Factory in Tema commenced operation in 1963. It became known as Cocoa Processing Company Ltd (CPC) in 1965, with a mandate to add value to Ghana’s premium cocoa beans. In doing so, the company processes raw cocoa beans into semi-finished products such as cocoa butter, cocoa cake, cocoa liquor and cocoa powder, as well as manufacturing chocolate.

CPC comprises two factories, namely: the Cocoa Factory, which processes cocoa beans into semi-finished products such as cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, cocoa cake and cocoa powder under the Portem brand, and the Confectionery Factory, for the manufacture of finished products which are GoldenTree Chocolate brands.

The factory was rehabilitated in 1990 and its rated capacity increased from 20,000mt to 25,000mt. CPC remained a subsidiary of Ghana Cocoa Board until 1993, when it was granted financial autonomy.

CPC listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange on 14 February 2003 and began an expansion programme, which it completed in 2009/10. The expansion brought the total throughput capacity of the company to 64,500mt per annum, up from the initial installed capacity of 25,000mt per annum.

In order to accomplish its mandate of adding value to Ghana’s cocoa beans, the company engages in two modes of operation. The first begins with processing of raw cocoa beans into semi-finished products, namely cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake and cocoa powder. Ninety-five per cent of these semi-finished products are exported to Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East and they find their way into many confectionery factories around the world.

The second mode of operation involves manufacturing cocoa confectionery products using some of the semi-finished products listed above as raw materials. CPC’s confectionery products come under the brand name GoldenTree. They include the GoldenTree chocolate bars, such as Kingsbite, Akuafo Bar, Coffee Choc, Portem Pride, Portem Nut, Oranco, Tetteh Quarshie Bar and Aspire (sugar free chocolate).

Apart from the bar chocolates, CPC also produces Alltime drinking chocolate, Pebbles (chocolate dragées), ChocoDelight (chocolate spread) and Royale Natural Cocoa Powder.

Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio

* Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.

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